Hotels have been an important part of the equation as chef John Besh has built his restaurant group, with distinctive eateries like Domenica, Lüke and Borgne finding homes in downtown New Orleans hotels.
Now, Besh’s company has started a new division specifically to focus on food and beverage in hotels and resorts. Called One House Hospitality, the division is expanding his company’s reach to Nashville, Tennessee, where it’s planning three new dining and bar concepts at one property.
Besh’s company announced the formation of One House Hospitality in a release Monday and simultaneously revealed that it will provide food and beverage services for the Thompson Nashville, a 224-room hotel under construction in downtown Nashville.
The hotel is expected to open this fall in Nashville’s Gulch neighborhood, a once-industrial district that has been recast as a modern urban hot spot between the city’s Music Row and central business district.
Like New Orleans, downtown Nashville is in the midst of a building boom, with new hotels contributing to the buzz of construction and development.
The Thompson Nashville hotel’s marquee restaurant will be called the Marsh House and will be focused on seafood.
“Elegant, old South offerings will stand head-to-head with creative new takes on Southern cuisine while classic cocktails will bring the Louisiana spirit to Nashville alongside a few contemporary twists,” according to a release from One House Hospitality.
Besh’s new group also will run a café at Thompson Nashville called Killebrew Coffee and will run the hotel’s rooftop bar.
The company is now interviewing chef candidates to helm the hotel’s food and beverage outlets.
Emery Whalen, who has been chief operating officer for the Besh Restaurant Group, is now chief executive officer for One House Hospitality. Brian Landry, Besh’s chef and partner at Borgne in New Orleans, has been named chef for One House Hospitality overall.
“In a lot of ways, the growth of the culinary scene in Nashville is mirroring what we have experienced in New Orleans,” Landry said in a release. “As a chef, I cannot wait to learn more about the local foodways of Tennessee and get to know the farmers and food producers who will become the backbone of our menus.”
Although Nashville is a new market for the Besh Restaurant Group, some familiar names are involved in the project.
The Thompson Nashville is being developed by a partnership that includes the Berger Company of New Orleans and AJ Capital Partners, the Chicago-based firm that is redeveloping the Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans.
In November, Besh announced that his company would handle food and beverage services for the Pontchartrain Hotel, a St. Charles Avenue landmark now undergoing extensive renovation.
The 106-room hotel is expected to open sometime this year. When it does, Besh’s group will operate its Caribbean Room, a revamp of an acclaimed Creole restaurant that previously was part of the Pontchartrain, along with revived versions of the hotel’s Bayou Bar and its Silver Whistle coffee shop.
The group also will run a new rooftop bar at the Pontchartrain.
The Thompson Nashville will be managed by Commune Hotels & Resorts, a company that runs 45 properties worldwide.
Hotels under its Thompson flag have made high-profile restaurants and bars part of their brand.
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.